From the Kathmandu Press: Thursday, December 28, 2017

All major Nepali and English newspapers published from Kathmandu on Thursday have given the topmost priority to the meeting between chairmen of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal respectively. Other political, economic and socio-cultural issues have also received significant attention in the front pages of broadsheets published from Kathmandu today.


UML, Maoist Centre to finalise unity modality before new govt

L-R: CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli during a meeting in Balkot, Bhaktapur, on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

Kantipur lead story says Oli and Dahal have agreed to finalise the modality of unification of their parties before the new government would be formed. The leaders are reportedly mulling over three models including sharing the positions of party chair and premiership, establishing a joint leadership and sharing the two positions turn by turn, according to the report.

Naya Patrika, however, says the two leaders have agreed to finalise both the issues in a package simultaneously. The leaders held discussions about five issues including suspicions about party unification, new government formation, the role of Election Commission in ending the current stalemate, the National Assembly ordinance and the meeting of Party Unification Coordination Committee, according to the report.

Rajdhani comments that the discussion was focused on the resignation of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba than the unification of parties.

Meanwhile, The Himalayan Times says the Maoist Centre is preparing to present a proposal to the UML clarifying that the unification will take place only if the party gets one position between the PM and the chair of unified party. The report says the proposal will be formally tabled for discussion during a meeting of the Party Unification Coordination Committee, likely to take place today.

Ranipokhari reconstruction halted after dispute

Following a heated dispute between Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya and Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khagdi and concerns raised by stakeholders including archaeologists and historians, the Department of Archaeology has directed the local government to put Ranipokhari reconstruction process on hold, for now, informs The Himalayan Times lead story.

Quoting the Department’s Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal, the report informs that the Department made the decision after finding that the reconstruction works were not carried out as per the blueprint approved by the Department.

The report says the Department, however, has not sent the official letter to the KMC about it as its printers were out of order yesterday and hence Dahal telephoned the officials to halt the process.


Three factions of RPP under pressure to merge


Faced with unexpected defeat in recent parliamentary polls, three groups of Rastriya Prajatantra Party are under pressure from second-generation leaders to merge and form a unified party, according to Nepal Samacharpatra lead story. The RPP led by Kamal Thapa, the RPP-Democratic led by Pashupati Shamsher Rana and the RPP-Rastrabadi led by Prakash Chandra Lohani, which could not get the status of a national party in recent polls, are under the pressure.

Those pressuring for unification have warned that they will revolt against the leadership and join other parties if the parties are not merged and if the leadership is not handed over to them within next few weeks.

Delay in fiscal commission may hit budget transfer

Republica predicts that the delay in formation of a National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission as provisioned in the constitution is likely to hit the transfer of budget for next fiscal year. The report says Parliament has already endorsed a bill for the formation of constitutional omission, but it has not been established yet.


Nepal, India renew power pact

Nepal and India have renewed a bilateral agreement about the import of electricity from India to Nepal for next four months, according to Karobar. Now, Nepal will continue to receive 160 megawatt power till mid-April. The contract signed between Nepal Electricity Authority and India’s National Thermal Power Cooperation Limited (NTPC)’s Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) was due to expire on Sunday.

The report says with the renewal, Nepal will not face power outage this winter.

Earlier, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising had left for New Delhi to sign the agreement.

Nepal to become ‘tuin’-free by mid-July


Rajdhani says the government is preparing to get rid of all makeshift wire bridges (tuins) by the end of this fiscal year at mid-July. Earlier around two years ago, then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had announced to make the country tuin-free.

The Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agriculture Roads under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development is preparing to replace all tuins with suspension or other types of bridges within next six months, according to the report.

The Department had identified 148 tuins to be replaced and 72 suspension bridges have already been constructed while 74 other bridges will be constructed by mid-July, according to DoLIDAR Director General Jeevan Kumar Shrestha. Two bridges will be constructed the next year, according to him.

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